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What is the difference between these three words to mean unfortunately?

Also, which one is the most appropriate for this sentence:

My distant relative: "what is your job?"

Me: "Unfortunately, my job is confidential."
可惜(的是)我的工作要保密
不幸(的是)我的工作要保密
遺憾(的是)我的工作要保密
  • if 不幸,不幸的是 are both in the list, why not also add the other 2 similarly modified: 可惜,遺憾->可惜的是,遺憾的是? – user6065 Aug 28 '15 at 0:29
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    It's hard to translate without knowing why 'my job is confidential' is 'unfortunate'? – NS.X. Aug 28 '15 at 0:36
  • The sympathetic levels (of the speaker) are different, 可惜<遗憾<不幸 – these words themselves describe how the speaker feel for the corresponding thing. "本来我可以告诉你的,可惜我的工作要保密" may suggest "It's a (little) pity that I can't tell you, but I may be not that willing to tell you." Just literally interpret the three words: "可+惜", can call sympathy; "遗+憾", leaving regret; "不幸", unfortunate. – Stan Aug 28 '15 at 1:07
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    不好意思,我不能說,我工作是要保密的。Sorry, not an actual answer to your question, just sounds more natural to me. – Philipp Aug 28 '15 at 7:59
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可惜我的工作要保密: It express your willingnes can't be fulfilled because of irresistible or uncontrolable force, such as discipline,weather etc.

不幸我的工作要保密: 不幸 always relates to death, wounding or very bad things, its use is inappropriate in this context

遺憾我的工作要保密: It doesn't emphasize on your wilingness, but it express your sorrow on the consequnece it caused to other person. in this context, it depends on what may be caused by the confidentialily nature of your job

不幸的是,我的工作要保密: same as item 2

  • 不幸 is not always related to death, but usually. Exception: 家门不幸 – Kevin Y. Aug 30 '15 at 8:08

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